Dietary Supplements Essay

Dietary supplements are products that may contain “vitamins, minerals, herbs, botanicals, or other plant-derived substances; amino acids; enzymes; concentrates; or extracts. ” These are intended to help along with diet and exercise for weight loss, obtaining nutrients, provide energy, prevent illness and disease, and to enhance food. People take them for all of these different reasons but there are many different kinds of dietary supplements. Benefits There are many health benefits to using dietary supplements, however some pose risks as well.

Dietary supplements have the benefit of giving you the nutrients that you are lacking if you have a deficiency of a certain nutrient. They can also help provide the things that you need if you have a certain illness that results in a deficiency. You can take an iron supplement to help make sure that you have enough iron. Iron is important because it makes the proteins hemoglobin (found in the red blood cells) and myoglobin (found in muscles). These are extremely important because they carry and store oxygen within the body. Niacin supplements can be taken to help maintain a healthy blood cholesterol (HDL).

We Will Write a Custom Essay Specifically
For You For Only $13.90/page!


order now

When taking a niacin supplement it helps you to keep your blood cholesterol within a healthy normal range. There is also a supplement for folic acid which has been used to reduce the risk of spina bifida in infants. Spina bifida is when the baby’s spine or spinal cord grow abnormally. There is an opening that is left which means that the 3. Dietary Supplements spinal cord and spine may protrude outside of the body. The spine and spinal cord needs to be protected on the inside so developing spina bifida can be very dangerous. Spina bifida can also cause damage to the nerves because of he opening in the spine. This can cause paralysis, in some cases, because the spinal cord is unable to relay messages to the brain for movement to occur. There has been some scientific research that supports many dietary supplements because they have true benefits. However, there are some that still need more research. Risks Dietary Supplements also come with certain risks. The United States does not regulate dietary supplements as strictly as they do pharmaceuticals. Dietary supplement manufacturers are not required to show proof that their products are safe or effective.

However, it is illegal to sell an unsafe product. The major offenders of selling tainted products are weight loss supplements, sexual enhancement pills, and bodybuilder supplements. Most dietary supplements are safe when you follow the direction. However, there are some nutrients that can cause problems when they are consumed in higher quantities than recommended. Vitamins A and D are fat-soluble vitamins that are easily stored in the body, and can lead to high toxicity levels when taken in high doses for an extended time period.

VitaminB6, a water-soluble vitamin, is not stored easily in the body. However, when VitaminB6 is taken in higher than recommended doses then it can cause nerve damage. High doses of Vitamin C causes diarrhea. When you take supplements for both selenium and iron and are getting more than needed then it can 4. Dietary Supplements be toxic. Another major risk of taking dietary supplements is interaction with other medications, and dietary supplements. Dietary supplements can interact with over-the-counter medications. This can be dangerous if the two cannot be mixed.

The same goes for prescription medications. When you take two different products that cannot be mixed then there can be adverse effects, sometimes it can even be fatal. Some dietary supplements interact with each other as well. It is very important to speak with your doctor about the prescription medications that you may be taking as well as over-the-counter medications before starting a dietary supplement. It is also important to make sure that your doctor knows of any dietary supplement you are on before having surgery.

The reason is because the supplement can react with the anesthesia or pain medication given afterwards. Regulations The FDA regulates dietary supplements under a different set of rules and regulations than food and drugs including prescriptions and over-the-counter drugs. The Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994 made the manufacturers, of dietary supplements and dietary ingredients, responsible for making sure that it is safe for consumption before it goes on sale. After the product goes on the market, then the FDA is responsible for dealing with unsafe products.

Manufacturers are not required to register or gain approval before the start producing or selling their product. The label has to be truthful and not be misleading as required by the FDA. “Under the FDA Final Rule 21 CFR 111, all domestic and foreign companies that manufacture, package, label or hold dietary supplement, including those involved with testing, quality control, and 5. Dietary Supplements dietary supplement distribution in the U. S. , must comply with the Dietary Supplement Current Good Manufacturing Practices (cGMPS) for quality control. (U. S. Food and Drug Administration Page Last Updated: 11/16/2012) The manufacturer, packer, or distributor is also required to send all serious adverse event reports due to the use of the dietary supplement to the FDA. The Federal Trade Commission regulate advertising for dietary supplements. Illness treated by supplement Spina bifida is a birth defect that causes the spine and spinal cord to protrude outside of the body. This happens when the spine and spinal cord do not develop the way that they should leaving a gap.

This defect is dangerous because the spine and spinal cord are exposed. Spina bifida can also cause nerve damage or paralysis. When a woman is pregnant she may take an folic acid supplement to help reduce the chances of her child developing spina bifida. The mother takes the folic acid supplement as a preventative measure. In order to try to prevent spina bifida the pregnant woman needs to take 400 mcg of folic acid daily. However, if there has already been a pregnancy that was affected by spina bifida then the woman needs to take 4,000 mcg of folic acid daily.

Folic acid prevents most cases of spina bifida. Side effects of folic acid are nausea, gas, not feeling hungry, bad taste in mouth, sleeping issues, depression, and feeling excited or irritable. 6. Dietary Supplements

References: Benefits and Risks of Taking Dietary Supplements By Shereen Jegtvig, About. com Guide Updated December 06, 2012 Data sources include Micromedex™ (updated Nov 30th, 2012), Cerner Multum™ (updated Nov 17th, 2012), Wolters Kluwer™ (updated Dec 3rd, 2012) and others FDA. gov